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News by month (2005): Recent : Jan
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Europe's Rosetta probe observes Comet LINEAR
May 30: ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta, whose 10-year journey to its final target Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko started on March 2nd, is well on its way. The first phase of commissioning is close to completion and Rosetta has successfully performed its first scientific activity — observation of Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR).
   FULL STORY
Double stars emerge as heavyweight champions
May 29: About 20,000 light-years from Earth, two massive stars grapple with each other like sumo wrestlers locked in combat. Both giants, each weighing in at around 80 times the mass of our Sun, are the heaviest stars ever. They orbit each other every 3.7 days, nearly touching as they spin on the celestial stage.
   FULL STORY
Moon tells of unexpected Earth climate changes
May 28: Scientists who monitor Earth's reflectance by measuring the Moon's 'earthshine' have observed unexpectedly large climate fluctuations during the past two decades.
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Raw ingredients for life found around young stars
May 27: NASA has announced new findings from the Spitzer Space Telescope, including the discovery of significant amounts of icy organic materials sprinkled throughout several "planetary construction zones," or dusty planet-forming discs, which circle infant stars.
   FULL STORY
Spacecraft near and far are watching Saturn
May 26: As Saturn grows closer through the eyes of the Cassini spacecraft, which is hurtling toward a rendezvous with the ringed world on June 30th, both Cassini and the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope snapped spectacular pictures of the planet and its magnificent rings.
   FULL STORY
Radio astronomy gets connected
May 25: On May 25th, work started on the construction of an optical fibre network which will connect five radio telescopes to the giant 76-metre Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory in rural Cheshire, allowing it to operate with vastly improved sensitivity.
    FULL STORY
Cosmic powerhouses dwell in humble homes
May 25: Quasars are the most brilliant of cosmic fireworks, shining out across billions of light-years of space. However, a recent study done at Gemini Observatory shows that they appear to blaze forth from humdrum galaxies in the early universe, and surprisingly, not from the giant or disrupted ones astronomers expected.
   FULL STORY
Close-up view of comet
May 25: This image of Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was taken at the Kitt Peak National Observatory earlier this month. The comet will remain visible for several weeks with binoculars and small telescopes just after sunset, high in the western sky.
   FULL STORY
Cassini sees smaller moons of Saturn
May 24: Two of Saturn's moons — Prometheus and Pandora — are seen here shepherding the planet's narrow F-ring in this latest image from the approaching Cassini spacecraft.
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Starburst eye of a galaxy produces a cosmic shower
May 23: Combining images from orbiting and ground-based telescopes, an international team of astronomers has located the eye of a cosmic hurricane: the source of the one million mile-per-hour 'winds' that shower intergalactic space from the galaxy M82.
   FULL STORY
Theory proposes new view of Sun and Earth's creation
May 22: Like most creation stories, this one is dramatic: we began, not as a mere glimmer buried in an obscure cloud, but instead amidst the glare and turmoil of restless giants.
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Asteroids reveal their age in colour, astronomers say
May 22: In an article published in the journal Nature, a team led by Robert Jedicke of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy provides convincing evidence that asteroids change colour as they age.
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Cassini peers closer at Titan
May 21: The Cassini orbiter continues its observations of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan, stealing another early peek at the haze-enshrouded surface. Cassini's view of Titan now surpasses Earth-based observations in its ability to show detail.
   FULL STORY
Asteroid with the smallest orbit discovered
May 21: The ongoing search for near-Earth asteroids at Lowell Observatory has yielded another interesting object. Designated 2004 JG6, this asteroid is located between Earth and Venus and goes around the Sun in just six months, making it the asteroid with the shortest known orbital period.
   FULL STORY
Chandra opens new dark energy investigation
May 18: Astronomers have detected and probed dark energy by applying a powerful new method that uses images of galaxy clusters made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The results trace the transition of the expansion of the universe from a decelerating to an accelerating phase several billion years ago.
   FULL STORY
Theory clues may be visible in Big Bang aftermath
May 14: Scientists studying the Big Bang say that it is possible that string theory may one day be tested experimentally via measurements of the Big Bang's afterglow. The string theory attempts to unify the physics of gravity and the atom.
   FULL STORY
'Smoking gun' evidence of giant meteor collision
May 14: Evidence is mounting that 251 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs dominated the Earth, a meteor the size of Mount Everest smashed into what is now northern Australia, heaving rock halfway around the globe, triggering mass volcanic eruptions, and wiping out all but about ten percent of the species on the planet.
   FULL STORY
Latest Cassini image shows bands of clouds and lace
May 14: As Cassini nears its rendezvous with Saturn, new detail in the banded clouds of the planet's atmosphere are becoming visible. Cassini began the journey to the ringed world of Saturn nearly seven years ago and is now less than two months away from orbit insertion on June 30.
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Hubble views enigmatic Red Rectangle
May 11: Astronomers may not have observed the fabled "Stairway to Heaven", but they have photographed something almost as intriguing: ladder-like structures surrounding a dying star within the nebula HD 44179.
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XMM-Newton detects X-ray 'solar cycle' in distant star
May 10: For years, astronomers have wondered whether stars similar to the Sun go through periodic cycles of enhanced X-ray activity, like those often causing troubles to telephone and power lines here on Earth. Europe's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has now revealed for the first time a cyclic behaviour in the X-ray radiation emitted by a star similar to the Sun.
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Closer to the monster
May 8:  Fulfilling an old dream of astronomers, observations with the Very Large Telescope in Chile have now made it possible to obtain a clear picture of the immediate surroundings of the black hole at the centre of an active galaxy.
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Two extremely hot exoplanets caught in transit
May 7:  A European team of astronomers are announcing the discovery and study of two new extra-solar planets. The observations were performed in March at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.
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Cassini spies on Titan
May 6:  The veils of Saturn's most mysterious moon have begun to lift in Cassini's eagerly awaited first glimpse of the surface of Titan, a world where scientists believe organic matter rains from hazy skies and seas of liquid hydrocarbons dot a frigid surface.
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Illuminating the 'dark ages' of the universe
May 4:  Astronomers who want to study the cosmic dark ages face a fundamental problem. How do you observe what existed before the first stars formed to light it up? Theorists have found a solution.
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Galaxy family has close interaction in cosmic tango
May 3:  Stars like our Sun are members of galaxies, and most galaxies are themselves members of clusters of galaxies. In these, they move around among each other in a mostly slow and graceful ballet. But every now and then, two or more of the members may get too close for comfort—the movements become hectic, sometimes indeed dramatic, as when galaxies end up colliding.
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Scientists announce cosmic ray theory breakthrough
May 1: University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have proposed a new theory to explain the movement of vast energy fields in giant radio galaxies (GRGs). The theory could be the basis for a whole new understanding of the ways in which cosmic rays—and their signature radio waves—propagate and travel through intergalactic space.
   FULL STORY

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


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